State blames employee in fatal tiger attack at Palm Beach Zoo

by

comment
PHOTO VIA WPTV
  • Photo via WPTV
A state agency released a nine-page report absolving the Palm Beach Zoo of fault and listing rule violations by a zookeeper who was killed by a tiger at the facility on April 15.

Stacey Konwiser, 37, was preparing Hati, a 12-year-old Malayan tiger, for a presentation when her screams caused co-workers to run to her.



According to CBS News, a recent autopsy report states that her neck was crushed and her jugular severed.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission investigation found a number of errors in Konwiser's procedure, among them a failure to shift the deadly animal to a secure area before entering its enclosure space, failure to inform co-workers of the move, and failure to carry a "fogger device" for self-defense.



The U.S. Department of Agriculture found similar results from its investigation in May.

The tiger was shot with a tranquilizer dart at the time of the attack. The zoo's CEO, Andrew Aiken, defends employees' decision not to shoot the animal, arguing that in the short time they had to assess the situation, shooting could have angered it more.

The Palm Beach County Medical Examiner has called into question whether or not Konwiser even knew the animal was there, according to the Palm Beach Post.

Konweiser is survived by her husband, Jeremy, who also works at the zoo.

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Orlando Weekly. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Orlando Weekly, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at feedback@orlandoweekly.com.

Orlando Weekly works for you, and your support is essential.

Our small but mighty local team works tirelessly to bring you high-quality, uncensored news and cultural coverage of Central Florida.

Unlike many newspapers, ours is free – and we'd like to keep it that way, because we believe, now more than ever, everyone deserves access to accurate, independent coverage of their community.

Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing pledge, your support helps keep Orlando’s true free press free.